Uncle Nearest’s Eady Butler Becomes First to Win Back to Back Master Blender of Year Awards


March 2, 2022

Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey announced that its master blender, Victoria Eady Butler, was honored with her second Master Blender of the Year title at Whisky Magazine’s American Icons of Whisky Awards. Eady Butler is the first person to win the award for two consecutive years.

In 2021, she was the first female ever to be awarded the Master Blender of the Year title at the competition.

“It is impossible for me to put into words how significant this is to me and my family,” Eady Butler said in a news release. “Less than five years ago, almost no one knew the name Nearest Green outside of my tiny hometown of Lynchburg. Now, he is well known as the best whiskey maker the world never knew, and the undisputed Godfather of Tennessee Whiskey. To be able to add my own legacy of whiskey-making next to his, well heck – ya’ll are going to make me cry. This is truly incredible.”

Eady Butler, who is the great-great-granddaughter of the whiskey brand’s namesake, Nearest Green, initially joined the Uncle Nearest team in March 2019 as the VP of Administration, but later that year was appointed as the distillery’s Master Blender. It was Eady Butler’s talent for selecting and blending whiskeys that elevated her to the role after the very first batch of 1884 Small Batch Whiskey she curated earned numerous awards including Best American Whiskey at the China Wine & Spirits Awards, a distinction earned again stateside in 2021 at the prestigious Ascot Awards.

The appointment also made her the first African American master blender for a major spirit brand. Eady Butler has since earned multiple recognitions for her achievements, including being honored as Master Blender of the Year by The Spirits Business and VinePair.

“What’s amazing is Victoria came in to oversee the administrative side of our company, which includes our Foundation which grants Nearest Green descendants full scholarships to any university of their choosing,” Fawn Weaver, CEO of Uncle Nearest, said. “The idea of the small batch whiskey was that every descendant who wanted to do a special blend would work with our team to create their own. While watching Victoria do her first tasting, we all got the sense that we were witnessing something special. I told her, ‘Whiskey is in your blood.’ From that moment on, there was no question who would blend every future bottle of Uncle Nearest.”

Under the watch and expert palate of Eady Butler, Uncle Nearest was the most-awarded American Whiskey or Bourbon of 2019, 2020 and 2021, and is currently garnering top awards for 2022 including Double Gold medals at the World Whiskies Awards. Last month, the Nearest Green Distillery also announced its 2022 slate of whiskeys, all of which now include Eady Butler’s signature and a note from her on the front label, further cementing her legacy in whiskey history right next to her ancestor.